By Jennifer C. Tilos
DUMAGUETE CITY, Sept. 11 (PIA) –U.S. Ambassador Harry K. Thomas led recently a reading session to more than 30 public school children in Barangay Taloto, Tagbilaran City to promote marine conservation.
Thomas read a story about fish in Mabaw Reef, a marine protected area where children’s parents have been fishing as their main livelihood.
Thomas said “The best way to ensure the success of our initiatives is to educate the younger generation about their responsibility to the environment as they will soon be the caretakers of the country’s rich resources.”
The school children were also treated to play with three mascots that represent the flagship fish species of different Bohol municipalities.
The mascots also represented the ‘Pride Campaign’ that is the signature program of Resource Assistance for Rural Environment (RARE) aims to inspire people to take pride in the species and habitats that make their communities unique.
Pride includes a holistic combination of capacity building in management, enforcement and governance, underpinned by a strong community mobilization and behavior change campaign using social marketing.
To date, Rare has partnered with 25 of the Philippines’ 850 coastal municipalities, focusing primarily on building community support and infrastructure for fishery “no-take zones” and local enforcement.
USAID supports Rare’s program ‘Coastal Climate Change Adaptation: Marine Protected Areas (MPAs)’ which aims to strengthen MPAs as a platform for building community, ecological, and social resilience among coastal municipalities in the Philippines.
This four-year program seeks to improve municipal MPA networks, covering 25 focal MPAs that total over 1,500 hectares of MPA.
USAID mission director Gloria Steele was with Thomas during the visit was also welcomed by local officials of the province.
Country Senior Director Rocky Tirona appreciated the Bohol provincial government as the site of past USAID-supported coastal and marine management programs. (mbcn/JCT/PIA7-Negros Oriental)